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Saturday, 18 August 2012

Dropbox - App Review


If you are using more than one device, be it PC, Smartphone, tablet, or laptop, it won't be long until you have a file in one place and you want to access it from another. Shortly after you have resolved that issue (and syncing with iTunes is not pretty), you will come across the next hurdle: which one is the current version. Enter Dropbox.

Dropbox is a free service that enables you to have access to your documents from anywhere, from any device. As the updating of files is automatic when you save, the version is always the latest one, everywhere. If that's all one could do with Dropbox, it would already be excellent value (and as it's free, you couldn't complain anyway.

There are however, three more excellent attributes to Dropbox.

• You can have a 'public' folder, in which you can share documents with anyone; all you need do is give the address to anyone (and remember that they may in turn pass it on to someone else).

• You can also have shared folder(s) where you give others access to information. In this way you can share information privately with only those you choose.

•  Dropbox automatically takes 'snapshots' of your information every time it changes. So when the inevitable happens and you accidentally 'mess up' that document you have been working on for months, don't worry. Just go into your Dropbox account and roll back to the correct version.

This is not a sexy app that makes you want to buy an iPad; it is far more than that, it is an indispensable tool for anyone who works with files of any kind, be they spreadsheets, documents, music, photographs, or anything else.

Now for the ACIDS test:

Aesthetics
The iPad Version of the App handles both landscape and portrait orientation in an intelligent way. Viewing saved documents is excellent. There's nothing particularly 'sexy' about it but, it works and is very easy to use. The fact is that once you are actively using Dropbox, you will rarely (if ever) use the App itself; you'll just let the automatic synchronising take care of itself.

Cost
The App is entirely free. The first 2 GB of storage is also free, and can be increased to a very generous 18 GB by effectively helping the developers by introducing others or 'liking' them. Thereafter, there are various plans for having more space.


Indispensability
Once you start using Dropbox (probably from your PC), you'll wonder how you lived without it. As you add Apps to your iOS device (iPhone/iPad), it will become even more a cornerstone of your data sharing experience. If you have data in one place that you could do with somewhere else, Dropbox is absolutely indispensable; full stop (and full marks for that matter).


Dependability
I have been using Dropbox since September 2010; it has never let me down. It's not possible to ask for more.


Security
Dropbox claim that "your files are actually safer while stored in your Dropbox than on your computer in some cases. We use the same secure methods as banks ", and I have no reason to doubt them. The fact that a copy of your data is also being stored somewhere outside your direct control is however a risk, however small. As you give other Apps access to your Dropbox, the potential for data 'leakage' will increase. Don't be too alarmed by this; treat it more as the over cautions "may contain nuts" warning on a packet of peanuts, rather than the "smoking kills" on a packet of cigarettes.



ACIDS Test Rating:
 You've just got to have it!


To find out how the ACIDS Test works, click here.

You can get Dropbox here and the iPad App here.

11 comments:

  1. I loved dropbox until something went wrong... then I couldn't find any support at all. The issue was that I got a new email account and dropbox changed my password. Now I can't get into dropbox because the email they send for me to change my password only goes to my old email account. You have to wait 1-3 business days to hear back from them. Business days! They have no phone number. I've been waiting almost 48 hours to get my business up and running again. This is a nightmare.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Sorry to read you've had problems. If you are using a PC, all your files should be in your Dropbox folder. On an iOS device, as long as you synchronised, the files are on your device. The problem with automated support systems (like password help) is that they can only send messages to the email address that sent the message.
    If you still have access to your 'old' email address, you could try logging in, synchronising, copying your files to a new folder on your PC, then going to your new account and reinstalling and then copying all those files/folders into your 'new' Dropbox.
    Good luck either way, and thank you for your feedback... you can subscribe to new posts at the top of the page.

    ReplyDelete
  3. The developer advises that there has been an update to version 2.1.4 of the App.

    This includes the following enhancements and alterations:

    • Support for Indonesian, Malay, Polish, Portuguese (Brazil), Russian, Traditional Chinese and Simplified Chinese
    • Bug fixes and performance improvements

    ReplyDelete
  4. The developer advises that there has been an update to version 2.2 of the App.

    This includes the following enhancements and alterations:

    - Support for viewing all your photos in Dropbox.

    ReplyDelete
  5. The developer advises that there has been an update to version 2.2.1 of the App.

    This includes the following enhancements and alterations:

    Bug fixes and performance improvements

    ReplyDelete
  6. The developer advises that there has been an update to version 2.2.2 of the App.

    This includes the following enhancements and alterations:

    Bug fixes and performance improvements

    ReplyDelete
  7. The developer advises that there has been an update to version 2.3 of the App.

    This includes the following enhancements and alterations:

    • Easily share a link to a folder
    • Swipe on any file to quickly share, move, delete, or favorite
    • Select and share multiple photos with your family, friends, and other humans
    • Bug fixes and other magical performance improvements to keep you happy

    ReplyDelete
  8. The developer advises that there has been an update to version 2.3.1 of the App.

    This includes the following enhancements and alterations:

    Bug fixes and other magical performance improvements to keep you happy

    ReplyDelete
  9. The developer advises that there has been an update to version 2.3.2 of the App.

    This includes the following enhancements and alterations:

    • Bug fixes and other magical performance improvements

    ReplyDelete
  10. The developer advises that there has been an update to version 3.0.2 of the App.

    This includes the following enhancements and alterations:

    • Support for viewing PDF annotations
    • Support for using “Open In…” with more iWork formats
    • Fixed an issue that caused some Office and iWork documents to fail on iPads
    • Fixed an issue where Camera Upload could get stuck on some videos
    • Assorted bug fixes + polish

    ReplyDelete
  11. The developer advises that there has been an update to version 3.1.3 of the App.

    This includes the following enhancements and alterations:

    • Updated App Icon
    • Fixed a bug that caused Favorites to disappear for some of our users
    • Increased stability and performance

    ReplyDelete

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